In the last couple of days, I wrote a couple of blogs about a Clinton presidency and chances in 2020. I wrote them in full expectation that Hillary would win the US election, which would present challenges, but challenges we could manage. You can read them here and here. You can read them as overly optimistic and now historical oddities that couldn’t be more wrong.
I made a bet with two friends six months or so ago. A bottle of wine on Trump winning. After the pussy grabbing episode, I declared that I had lost. There was just no way back from such an horrific display. How wrong was I. I’ve won two bottles of wine.
Donald Trump is the duly elected President of the United States of America.
Why is harder to understand, but probably a combination of rage at the system, the attraction of electing someone the system hates, a belief that Trump is not a politician, deluded Republican establishment voters who felt they had to vote for their party’s nominee, maybe some believed his promises and a few because of racism and sexism. They elected Trump to the presidency.
The man who ran a poor reality TV show. The man who said he wants to put up a wall to stop Mexicans. The man who said he wants to ban muslims in the USA. The man who talked at length about sexually abusing women. The man who is accused of abuse by a dozen women. A terrible, despicable, lying, dangerous man.
I have four beautiful children. I didn’t really think about what their future would be like when we were thinking about a family, but I think about it a lot now. The voters of the USA have threatened my children’s future. Trump doesn’t believe in climate change and has said he wants to defund US$100 million of climate change funding. In a briefing, Trump was reported to ask three times why using nuclear weapons in conventional warfare was a bad idea and suggested greater nuclear proliferation. Trump has shown shaky support for NATO, encouraging a dangerous escalation of the new cold war with Russia. Trump has questioned supporting the UN and its role in peace and justice in our world. Trump has casually suggested war all over the world. In addition, it looks like both the Congress and the Senate will be Republican. No checks and balances. None. The voters of the USA have threatened my children’s future.
I am in serious shock. My Twitter timeline is a trail of tears and confusion. the economic markets worldwide are in freefall. The US markets, the DOW, dropped further than they did after 9-11. I have a heavy weight in my stomach as I listen to coverage on The Young Turks and watch the New York Times election meters.
Dark, dark times ahead my friends. I think of our Sioux brothers and sisters in North Dakota protecting their water and land against the pipeline, of the Black Lives Matter protestors in poor urban centres, of the Occupy movement for economic change, of whistleblowers like Snowden. Dark times and dark acts will test their courage and their commitment. Many will go to prison for lifetimes for the crime of protesting.
So let me offer a prayer for us and for our world. There will be days after Trump. The disaster of a Trump presidency will see the Democrats take the Senate and perhaps the House in two years, and I hope we will see Elizabeth Warren run against Trump in 2020. But hope is still on the horizon. Now we live with grief. The walls of our cities will have been torn down, many we have loved will have died, and we will be a remnant of our previous glory. Nevertheless, we will endure and we will hope. Not vainglorious hopes, the expectation of victory, but a little hope that we will share with each other: